I bet I’m one of the only moviegoers who hated the film, Groundhog Day. Bill Murray plays a weatherman stuck in a time loop on the famous American holiday that leaves the fate of our weather patterns in the paws of a lowland rodent. It drove me crazy that the plot consisted of Bill beginning the same day all over again. At first, I scoffed it off as a dumb movie trend, but I knew in my heart that this theme was hitting way too close to home, or, in this case, to my work life.
I live this same plot each and every day with the majority of job seekers I deal with. What most of them call a “professional background,” I call insanity. Let me explain. Last week, one gentleman in particular stuck with me. Mark was a sales professional who had been downsized from the pharmaceutical industry three separate times for a sundry of economic reasons, yet marched into my office looking for, yet again, another pharmaceutical job. I couldn’t get over the look of shock on his face when I suggested that he take his comprehensive sales experience to a new industry, one that’s actually growing.
Kristy is another great example of a job seeker stuck in a perpetual career stasis. She received her associate’s degree in a general discipline, graduated unsure of her professional direction, and continued on her “journey to nowhere” until she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She dumped several years and tens of thousands of dollars into her education without a clue what she would use it for. I see this same mistake happening more often rather than less with our millennials.
I challenge Mark, Kristy and all job seekers to look outside the box. Are you seeing your shadow? I’ve got news for you: if you keep up the same routine knowing that it’s not working, it doesn’t take a meteorologist to predict that you have a lot more than six weeks of crappy career weather ahead. Rather than keeping your heads underground and failing to see the obvious, explore your options – which brings me to the only part of the movie that I enjoyed. Bill Murray used his repeated days to improve himself, and by the end, he grew both personally and professionally. So again, ask yourselves, “Am I stuck in my own version of Groundhog Day?”
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